Broken Bones: Types Of Fractures

As a follow up to my prior blog about Bone fractures – the basics, this blog will discuss the different types of fractures. The prior blog went through the basics, discussing features of fractures such as Open, Closed, Partial, Complete, Stable and unstable.  These features can be present in the types of bone fractures described in this blog, so it may be helpful to start there, then come back to this blog to give you the complete picture.

There are many different types of Bone Fractures, this blog will explain some of the most common types of fractures.

Transverse Fracture: A transverse fracture is when the fracture line is perpendicular to the shaft (length) of the bone.

Spiral Fracture: As the name suggests, these fractures are when the fracture line spirals around the bone, looking like a corkscrew.  These fractures are also known as Torsion Fractures due to the rotational features of the break.  These breaks are a type of complete fracture – resultant from rotation/torsion affecting long bones of the body and require medical intervention as they are often displaced/unstable.

Oblique Fracture: A type of complete fracture when the break is straight and diagonal across the length of the bone. This kind of fracture occurs most often in long bones (tibia, femur, radius). Oblique fractures may be the result of a sharp blow that comes from an angle due to a fall or other trauma. (This is type of fracture is what I have sustained – see picture)

Greenstick Fracture: This is a type of partial fracture that occurs mostly in children. The bone bends and breaks but does not separate into two separate pieces. Children are most likely to experience this type of fracture because their bones are softer and more flexible.

Avulsion Fracture: An avulsion fracture occurs when a small fragment of bone attached to a tendon or ligament is pulled away from the main part of the bone.  These injuries are common at the ankle, elbow and hip – particularly in the sporting/athletic population.

Comminuted Fracture: This is a type of complete fracture where the bone is broken into two or more pieces. These fractures result in multiple bone fragments at the fracture site.  These fractures are the result of high-impact trauma, such as falls from bikes or automobile accidents.

The features of a fracture, whether it is complete, displaced or open, have an influence on the management, as does the type of fracture.  The most important thing to do if you suspect a fracture is to present to a primary healthcare provider, whether this be Emergency, your GP or Physiotherapist.  Accurate and early diagnosis goes a long way in ensuring you receive appropriate medical management so that you have the best possible outcome.

If you have sustained an injury, and are unsure what to do – a visit to Bend + Mend Physiotherapy for an accurate diagnosis and management plan is your best step forward to achieving your goals.

Patrick Nelson

About Patrick Nelson

Patrick joined the team at Bend + Mend following a move to Sydney from the Central Coast, NSW. After Graduating with Honours from Newcastle University, Patrick has developed his career in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy in both Private Practice and the Hospital Setting. Patrick has done further study into Dry Needling, injury prevention programming for strength and conditioning, shoulder rehabilitation and taping methods. Patrick has a strong interest in injury prevention and sports performance. Having a background of working in variety of sports from grass roots netball to professional rugby league, he enjoys getting to the root of your musculoskeletal issue and developing a planned approach to returning you to the pitch, as safely and as soon as possible.

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